Christmas time is coming to town! Originating in Germany and the Alsace in the 1500’s, since the 1990s the Christmas markets have spread throughout Europe. Discover the best traditional and popular Christmas markets in France, a major shopping event they are held from November onwards in the best Christmas destinations in France.. Enjoy the Christmas decorations, beautiful Christmas trees and find original Christmas gifts for the whole family.
Over the years Christmas Markets have become an essential festive event In Paris during the Christmas season. The Markets are a great success with visitors and are held all over the capital: in Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Place de la Nation on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées and in Place du Trocadéro.
The markets are made up of wooden chalets, creating a warm and magical Christmas atmosphere. Perfect for shopping for Christmas decorations, festive objects, regional produce and arts & crafts… Choose some decorations for your Christmas tree, find some original ideas for Christmas presents and buy those ingredients needed to make your Christmas meals even more delicious.
AVIGNON: offered during the first 3 weeks in December
During the Christmas and New Year season Avignon sparkles with the finest displays! During the Christmas markets, artisans and salepersons offer a wide variety of products to celebrate Christmas: santons for the crèche, gourmet food products and regional specialties, Christmas trees, Christmas gifts, and unique regional products… (Santons or “little saints” are small hand-painted terracotta nativity scene figurines produced in the Provence region of southeastern France.)
The Christmas Markets offer traditional goods for the end of year festivities, including lots of delicious food products. Santon-makers display their wares and offer handmade products patiently made to tempt gift-givers. Crèches displaying the santons are visible in many different parts of Avignon, showing settings that are characteristic of Provence landscapes.
During the Christmas season and particularly on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the Churches, the city offers different Christmas events, concerts and Masses.
COLMAR: 20th November – 31st December.
Colmar becomes magical like a fairy tale at Christmas illuminated and decorated for Christmas with the ambiance of the historic Old Town for a back drop. The Christmas illuminations blend harmoniously with the wonderful lighting designed to enhance the town’s heritage, and illuminate the center of Colmar.
The mainly pedestrian area of the Colmar town center has numerous architectural treasures including monuments, churches, museums and alleys, and imposing buildings dating back from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. Well worth checking out the Maison Pfister, the Koïfhus, Unterlinden museum, Little Venice, the maison des têtes and Saint Martin’s Collegiate church. The whole town is decorated, turning the old center into a open-air theatre enhancing the Christmas mood in the heart of the town.
LILLE: 18th November – 30th December
In the heart of the Christmas season Lille takes on a festive atmosphere and sparkles and glows with joie de vivre! welcoming visitors to a winter wonderland! Over 80 chalets filled with wonderful gift ideas, nativity figurines, Christmas decorations and seasonal food offering their wares on the Place Rihour. Here you find regional specialities, handmade arts and crafts from Russia, Poland, and Québec, as well as products from Native America.
MULHOUSE; 21st November – 27th December
Mulhouse is definitely the place to enjoy the magic of Christmas with its festive lighting, exceptional decorations made of a unique Alsace fabric, and many animations, The distinctive Muhouse Christmas market comes from its link to its rich textile history and a particular fabric made in the area is always a highlight.
Connecting authenticity and tradition every year a new and exclusive Christmas fabric adorns the whole city during the Christmas season. The fabric is used as part of the decoration for the chalets and the city center streets which are themed and created by local artists.
The décor is in the purest Alsatian tradition with sparkling lights, the aroma of spices, mulled wine and ginger, The Christmas market of Mulhouse offers visitors a magical, warm atmosphere where fabrics and celebrations intertwine.
STRASBOURG: 27th November – 31st December
In 1570 the very first edition of the oldest Christmas market in Europe took place in Strasbourg, It was named the “Christkindelsmärik” (market of the Infant Jesus).
Strasbourg continues the tradition with a traditional, authentic, warm and generous Alsatian Christmas. Since those early days Strasbourg, the Capital of Christmas continues to enjoy repeated success with young and old alike.
For more information on the Christmas Markets or to book a tour to France or Europe at any time contact us. As an expert and authority in Travel and Tourism for over 35 years, I am originally from the UK now residing in Canada.